A review by Maria.
I would like to thank author Jan DeLima for giving me the opportunity to read and review her third book in the Celtic Wolves series, Autumn Moon. Earlier this year I also got to read and review the first two books, Celtic Moon and Summer Moon.
Autumn Moon picks up not long after Summer Moon had left off. Elen is being taught to control her powers (with the help of a hilarious pixie teacher). And Cormack is struggling to acclimate back into a human life. Both are struggling to understand the new terms of their relationship now that Cormack is no longer trapped in wolf form, with Elen as his only companion. They also have bigger things on their minds other than themselves, war is coming. Old enemies are just waiting for an opportunity to strike against their people. The perfect attack might come from using Elen, herself.
Elen is shunned by her people for her healing powers. When her powers start to prove to be so much larger than originally thought, people become afraid of her. She longs to be able to continue her healing practice, but no one will come to her. She also misses her companionship with Cormack and doesn’t really understand how to interact with him now. Elen is a kind and loving character and instead of her abilities making her weak, because she doesn’t shift like her siblings, they make her more formidable. She soon learns that her kindness can be used against her. Her character only grows after she’s kidnapped. Elen must learn how to be self-reliant, creative, brave, cruel, and even be willing to do harm in order to survive. This transformation was heartbreaking because of the circumstances, but interesting to watch emerge.
This book had tons of passion in it. Passion is a good thing to have between leads, especially when Cormack has been longing to touch Elen for hundreds of years. However, I would have liked to see more time spent on Cormack, particularly by himself. He was an interesting character, given that he was trapped in his wolf form for four hundred years and now must learn how to live as a human again. His acclimation into that process was kind of glossed over and I would have liked for it to have been much more in depth. I think that would have made his character more understandable, to show how much he had to struggle to live normally.
However, the passion in this novel, didn’t hurt, either! Once both characters figured out how to actually be around each other, their passion scenes were explosive and very hot! It also helps that Cormack might deliver some of the best lines about loving Elen:
“You hold my heart in your hands, and even if you don’t want it, it won’t matter because I am lost either way. I am yours. Do with me as you will.”
He becomes Elen’s protector both in body and soul. He also becomes swoon worthy as he becomes a man, and a man in love.
The big bad in this book continued to be old family foe, Pendaran. This time he enlists one of Elen’s closest friends, Mae, to betray her so he can kidnap Elen. This makes it appear to her family and Cormack like she was killed. Pendaran was a creepy and sinister character. I would have liked to know why he hated the family so much though. If it was addressed in an earlier book, I had forgotten the reasons. The curse Mae placed on him before she died was very entertaining and I liked that a little karma came his way for kidnapping Elen.
This book was similar length as the first two books in the series but there wasn’t as much action or mythology in this book. It was very centered on the main two characters instead. I think for that reason, it moved slower for me and took a little longer for me to read. However I still enjoyed this novel and many characters from the first two books made appearances in this one.
Because of the violence and sexual content, I would recommend this novel only to adult readers.
My rating: 3.5/5 stars.
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The Celtic Wolves Series
Elen and Cormack’s story
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: September 29, 2015
Number of pages: 304
The heart of a warrior, the soul of a wolf, and the desires of a man…
For centuries, Cormack has lived between worlds—a man trapped in the body of a wolf, shunned by humans and shifters alike. Only one person has ever welcomed his company: Elen, a kindred outcast who is feared by others of her ancient Celtic race for her strange healing abilities.
Cormack has always valued Elen’s kindness and understanding, but after a desperate act of friendship causes Elen to free him from his curse, he realizes he wants more. He wants all of her—completely and forever. Except before Cormack can win Elen’s heart, Pendaran, the evil leader of the Guardians, captures her, determined to manipulate her incredible power to aid him in his twisted war against the shapeshifting tribes.
Now Cormack must use all of his skills as a warrior and a wolf to save the woman he loves—before Pendaran’s vile schemes destroy them all…
Excerpt from Autumn Moon
Too wired to sleep, Elen opened the wine and poured a glass, sipping quietly as she walked over to the bed. Cormack slept above the coverlet and on his back, with one arm raised over his head, while the other rested by his side. His hair was still damp from his shower, and he wore jeans but no shirt, as if he’d just rested his head and sleep claimed him first.
His chest rose and fell with even breaths. She was not one to marvel over physical attributes, but this was Cormack, and his body was meant for pleasure, like a goddess had molded him for her personal divine gratification. His frame was large, and toned, with wide shoulders and a firm chest that tapered down to his hips. His hardened stomach would provide the perfect friction were she to ride him just like this.
And as that image flooded her mind, another, more wicked one, followed. It was greedy, and selfish, but all her niceness had been used up for the day. He looked peaceful, and innocent, but the man was practically immortal after all. Their kind did not die from lack of sleep. They might go mad, of course, but that took a few weeks. And had he not said, do with me as you will?
She needed to touch him. That was all. Well, no, she wanted more, but for now that would do. Taking a sip of her wine, she gently set the glass on an end table by the bed, and gave into temptation. Starting by his heart, she brushed lightly across his chest, tracing down the indent between, and lingering on the valleys and curves of his muscles. Flattening her hand over his stomach, she felt the soft hair that began just above the waistband of his jeans and disappeared below. She had never seen him in this restful state, at least not in his human form, and took in her ravenous fill.
Her hand lingered over the button of his jeans. She swallowed, wanting… Oh, how she wanted. It burned like molten earth, fed by a need that had been denied for too long. Even now she felt her body moisten and swell just from imagining what waited beyond that closure, and how it would feel inside her.
Or how it would taste.
She thumbed the button. A quick flick was all it would take.
A sound made her jolt, an intake of breath perhaps, followed by a sudden rise under her hands. She snapped her eyes to his face.
Cormack was awake.
And watching her.
A fire raged within his cerulean gaze. “Kill me now if you stop, Elen, because then I’ll know I’m well and truly cursed and I cannot be tortured anymore.”
About the Author:
Jan DeLima is the author of the Celtic Wolves novels, including Summer Moon and Celtic Moon. She lives in Maine with her husband and their two sons. Unlike many authors, Jan didn’t pen stories at an early age, but she has always been a dedicated reader. It wasn’t until after her children entered school that she began writing. Raised in a military family, she lived in different countries such as Thailand and Germany, but home base has always been Maine.